Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Whole New World

Oh, the irony!!!

Recently, the Brooklyn Baby Daddy, the Brooklyn Baby and I went to visit dear friends and their adorable new addition. We hadn't been to their new apartment yet, so I was interested to see the neighborhood, the layout, the flooring, the finishes, and all the other things about which I never used to give a damn. (I have no clue when I became a real estate voyeur, but visiting others' apartments and imagining myself living there is a minor obsession with me now.)

We were oohing and ahhing over the views, the cool layout, the newly refinished kitchen. Then we saw the baby's room. While most normal moms might spend their time kvelling over the gorgeous crib or admiring the precious changing table, my jaw dropped for a different reason. Let me give you the monologue as it happened in my brain:

"Oh my God. French doors? With no curtains on them? That means light filters in for every nap and when he goes to bed, if he goes to bed before sunset. Does this mean he wakes up at the crack of dawn? And where's the white noise machine? I don't see a white noise machine! His bedroom is right next to the living room and kitchen. Do they watch TV while he sleeps? How do they ever make dinner or wash dishes? HOW CAN THEY LIVE LIKE THIS?"

And then it dawned on me. Their baby sleeps, despite the light, despite the noise, despite everything.

Life is very different when you have a sleep challenged little one. You see the world from a whole new perspective, noticing little things that might have slipped by in a former life.

You notice every sound every neighbor makes at every hour of the day. Pacing, TV, stereo, barking dogs, mewing cats, the tapping of a hammer. Most of these noises infuriate you, even if they're completely legitimate. If they're not kosher according to city ordinances, you're on the horn with the cops faster than you can say "entitled yuppy neighbor."

You notice your cats in a whole new way. The nighttime wresting that you used to label "Brokecat Mountain" is now cause for rolled eyes and fruitless shushing. The loud mewing that you used to answer as if you were deep in a meaningful conversation is now moved into a room far from the baby's and then ignored. Your original babies are now your nemeses, pushing your buttons and testing your patience.

You notice the door to your baby's room. You notice the click of the doorknob, the creaking of the wood as it opens and closes. You fantasize what it's like to live in a new house or apartment, one where the paint doesn't rub against itself and the hinges are fresh and noiseless.

You notice the floor in your baby's room. There are sections of the pre-war wood floor that creak, and you avoid those like the plague when settling baby into her crib. You walk barefoot or in socks, usually on the tips of your toes. You always remember to stack the toys in the middle of the room and turn the battery-operated ones off so you don't trip on any and set off their obnoxious songs.

You notice sound effects on TV shows and movies like never before. In fact, maybe the Academy should use you to judge sound effects as played through older crappy TV's. You watch movies with the remote constantly in hand, turning the volume way up for whispered conversations and way down for car chase scenes. You HATE movies from the '40's - '60's with crazy loud soundtracks that erupt out of nowhere, often involving blaring horns of some sort.

Although the kitchen is on the opposite end of the apartment, you notice every clank and bang of pots and pans as you cook or do dishes. If you're going to make a smoky dish, you open the window and unplug the smoke detector first.

You double check the white noise machine in your baby's room daily. You consider buying a backup, just in case somethings happens to this one. In fact, maybe you'll do that the minute you finish this blog. That may be the best idea you've ever had.

So, maybe that gives you a window into our world. The irony of all this is that when Stella drifts off in her car seat, her stroller, or the Ergo, no sound in the world can wake her. We've strolled past live bands and honking horns, only to find our little one sound asleep amidst all the hubub. But if douchebag upstairs neighbor trips over his big feet on his way to the bathroom, we're up for the next three hours.


Anonymous said...

I don't have it as badly as you, but I assure you, many is the night I fretted about how loudly we were washing dishes, typing on the computer, breathing. I know the feeling.

Jo said...


see you and stella tomorrow, I hope?

Kellygirlnyc said...

Ugh. That's hard. We should do a play date this spring!


rachel leah said...

We had so much fun having you all over! I hope that Stella's sleep improves.

G actually gets upset if he finds himself napping in the dark, he prefers the light. However, we are getting window treatments for the french doors, they come this week, because we want him to have privacy when he gets older.

As far as the light waking him up in th emorning, he never gives it the chance. He gets up at 5am in complete darkness.

Randi Skaggs said...

Hey Rachel!

You know, I meant to give you the heads up that I referred to you and your darling Gideon! I hope it did not come across as offensive! We LOVED your place and your little man!

I love French doors. I guess there is a privacy issue, but dang, they're pretty.

Sorry about the early wakeup call! You guys seem awfully functional for waking up at that hour every day!